Rating: 7 out of 10
I was pleasantly surprised by this film. I’ve wanted to see it for a while simply because it was directed by Alex Proyas (The Crow and Dark City) and it had an interesting synopsis for the plot. What would you do if you suddenly found out that the world was ending and you knew exactly when it was going to happen? That it the tie that binds this film together and kept me interested during its two hour running time. This isn’t the kind of film you want to think too hard about. There’s a lot of implausible story choices. I did wonder how Nicolas Cage found out the world was going to end so easily. The movie goes to great lengths to explain how he figures out the series of numbers contained within the paper from the time capsule and how they correlate to real world events. But, when it comes to the biggest surprise, the end of the world, he simply hops on his iMac and….POOF!..He knows the answer!
Also, other than his great performance in Leaving Las Vegas, Nicolas Cage’s acting tends to be hammy and too dramatized. Knowing is no exception. His demeanor sometimes doesn’t even fit the scenes he’s in. However, he is excellent at resembling a horse and drinking alcohol while looking “concerned.” One last problem before I move on to the good stuff is the special effects. It’s a tale of two movies here because the end of the world stuff looks incredible. Waves of explosions fills the sky and you see the Earth turn to rubble. But, in earlier scenes involving large scale accidents (plane and train, I won’t divulge more), it looks really fake and obviously CGI. The best special effects are ones that you don’t notice.
The film itself has a great visual look to it. It’s dark without coming across as dreary and the cinematography by Simon Duggan is one of the films’ stronger attributes. Also, Director Alex Proyas creates a great sense of suspense without having to resort to cheap cliches. We are drawn in by the sheer enormity of end times and can feel it inching closer as the film progresses. I will admit that the end may turn some viewers off because of how it can feel detached from the rest of the movie, but, just keep in mind that it’s science fiction…not science.